The life is becoming very stressful and ridden with various tensions for all. This gives rise to a range of physical and mental maladies. In order to overcome these people resort to taking drugs or other external assistances that provide only short term relief but increase the risk of many more grave dangers to the body. It is a very good thing that slowly people are realizing this to be a vicious cycle and needs to be broken in order to save oneself from greater dangers.

Tension is inevitable in all walks of life. In today’s fast paced world it has become mandatory everywhere. So much so, that ironically enough people these days need tension in order to enjoy relaxation. One reason for the popularity of Yoga these days is because of this need tolearn to relax. Yoga offers many time-tested techniques to satisfy the need to learn to relax. These have been covered in details in the section of Yoga nidra and Yoga for Meditation and spirituality. Yoga provides a perfect base to gratify this need for most people. The basic issue here is to learn to cope up with stress and through the teachings of various forms of Yoga the desired solutions of betterment of life can be attained fruitfully.

According to Maharishi Patanjali Yoga is cittavrtti nirodha meaning that arresting the modification of mind. Bhagwad Gita says that Yoga samatvam yoga uchyate meaning Yoga is balance and equanimity. Maharishi Vashishta says yoga karmasu kausalam or perfection in action is yoga. All these imply that Yoga is a skillful process to calm down the mind. Many people who get down to attempting meditation vouch for the fact that the mind is restless. They never before realize that the mind would be so restless and difficult to control before actually starting to meditate. Most people in modern day life are always multi-tasking. The basic concept of which is to take on too much and direct the mind to accomplish various things all at the same time. This may be a way of life for many. But this becomes their nadir also as the mind becomes so used to working all the time that it refuses to calm down. This leads to too many ailments in the body, for which rest and relaxation are the only way out. Even during sleep many people are constantly thinking about the next day’s work or settling issues concerned with the previous day’s work. So sleep also is not restful and the system just does not relax at any point in time. There is a definite capacity of the body to work, thereafter it needs rest. Through yoga everyone can learn to control the mind and switch it off completely for relaxation and rejuvenation for better achievements later.

Yoga Asanas for Stress Relief

Yoga can be termed as a form of social science. It helps to develop awareness, concentration, willpower, good conduct, good behaviour, memory power, stress management and building up of personality of a person. So Yoga can be useful to each and every individual in one form or the other. Yoga is a process of gaining mastery over the mind, emotions and intellect. It is a conscious process of evolution from an instinctive animal nature to a visionary nature. This raises the potential of the man manifold and eventually raises him to the level of divinity.

Stress can be of two types Eustress and Distress. Eustress is the essential stress that happens as a result of some actions like running to catch a bus, increase of adrenalin levels during a sports match, or in other forms of exercises and sports. It is good for the body to be a little aggravated during eustress. Distress on the other hand is aggravation of the physical and mental faculties due to anger, frustration, greed, jealousy or other negative emotions. These can be extremely harmful for the body. The effect of distress is of many types. The person becomes irritated, aggressive, depressed, and impatient due to tension. He may become confused and undecided. He may find it difficult or impossible to concentrate on anything. He may also suffer from anxiety, depression and general loss of efficiency leading to further distress. In many cases a person may resort to smoking, drinking and usage of drugs to relieve him of distress and end up in an abysmal depth of further enhancement. Prolonged and chronic cases may also exhibit criminal tendencies.

People suffering from distress also may become prone to diseases like insomnia, high blood pressure, headaches and migraine, atherosclerosis, thyrotoxicosis, various auto-immune disorders, irritable bowel movements and menstrual problems.

When we experience stress the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) comes into action and all bodily functions become active except digestive system, which slows down. These changes provide extra energy needed to cope up with the stress. Once the situation is dealt with, Para Sympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) another branch of Autonomous Nervous System (ANS) takes over and relaxes the body. Since stress is necessary in certain measures and only when it becomes chronic and prolonged it creates problems, a balance between SNS and PSNS is necessary for a normal and healthy life. Yoga is a scientific methodology and a systematized art form through which this can be achieved so it is a well sought after and proves to be the right choice for everyone.